Paraneoplastic leukaemoid reaction

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A paraneoplastic leukaemoid reaction is the term given to a markedly raised white cell (> 50) in a malignancy that is not due to infection or a leukaemia. In a large review of 758 patients with malignancy with "extreme" leucocytosis, 10% of these patients were not found to have a paraneoplastic leukaemoid reaction (i.e. no other cause such as infection or exogenous G-CSF was identified). Of these patients, the prognosis was found to be very poor, with 80% having died within 3-months.[1]


  1. Granger and Kontoyiannis. Etiology and outcome of extreme leukocytosis in 758 nonhematologic cancer patients: a retrospective, single-institution study. Cancer. 2009; 115(17):3919